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FC Barcelona won another edition of their own Joan Gamper trophy after a 6-0 thumping over Liga MX back-to back champions Club Leon.
Barcelona walk over Leon in Joan Gamper trophy match
08/18/2014
 
BARCELONA, SPAIN - AUGUST 18: Neymar of FC Barcelona competes for the ball with Rafa Marquez of C...

FC Barcelona won another edition of their own Joan Gamper trophy after a 6-0 thumping over Liga MX back-to back champions Club Leon. This annual friendly competition had a special purpose as it served to present the renewed Catalan squad in front of all Cule fans. New players like Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez were presented with the blaugrana jersey for the first time in front of everyone at Camp Nou.

The match would also serve to give Mexican international Rafael Marquez a warm send off to his new Serie A team Hellas Verona in the grounds that saw him raise to fame 11 years ago. This would be the first time Rafael Marquez set foot on Camp Nou since he left the Catalan squad to try his luck with the New York Red Bulls of MLS back in 2010.

Barcelona took the game into their hands right from the start. It took Messi only two minutes to open the score with a wonderful header product of a deflected cross by Neymar. As the Brazilian starlet flanked the left and looked to cross, Rafael Marquez deflection chipped the ball for the Argentine prodigy to head the ball past young Mexican American keeper William Yarbrough.

Three minutes later, Croatian signing Ivan Rakitic rifled a long distance shot that went inches wide from the post, but it was sending a clear message that the Catalan club was going to play at their full potential, and only two minutes after that Messi would score again but the goal was disallowed for handball.


Rafinha's shot to the penalty box caught the Leon defense off-guard and when Edwin Hernandez's late rush to the ball only enabled Lionel Messi to control the ball inside the penalty to shoot past Yarbrough. Fortunately this horrible defensive mistake was redeemed by Messi who received the ball with his right arm, thus annulling the play.


In the 11th minute, Neymar would chip the ball over Yarbrough for the 2-0 after grabbing a hold of a beautiful through pass from Andres Iniesta that cut through the whole Leon defense.

Rafinha looked like giving Barcelona a 3-0 lead four minutes later in the 15th after shooting a low ball from inside the penalty box, but his attempt grazed the left post for a goal clearance.


It was completely clear by now that Barcelona's attacking technique was superior to that of Leon's defensive technique, as it was impossible for the Panzas Verdes to take the ball outside their half of the field.


It wasn't gonna be until minute 18 when Elias Hernandez gave the Mexican team a voice after a powerful shot from inside the penalty box that Claudio Bravo deflected into a corner. Colombian forward Yamilson Rivera also got a chance to put Leon on the game map, but his inside the box attempt went above the crossbar into the crowd.


Those two chances made Leon realize that Barcelona was not impenetrable and they took the game to the Catalan's own half, creating more chances that had Claudio Bravo feeling uneasy a couple of times.


This however would not stop Barcelona from pushing forward as Rafinha looked more dangerous with every ball he got, In the 30th minute, Thiago Alcantara's brother and Luis Enrique's Celta protectee barely missed a chip ball over Yarbrough from a Lionel Messi through pass  inside Leon's penalty box.


It would be Neymar however the man to add the third star on the scoreboard and his second of the night when he backheeled a Yarbrough's deflection into the back of the net in the final stages of the first half. Barcelona once more took advantage of Leon's defensive mistakes and took a comfortable 3-0 lead into the dressing rooms for the first half.

The second half would see lots of changes on the lineups but no drop in intensity. Barcelona kept pushing Leon into their own half of field, making it impossible for the Liga MX team to pose any real threat to the home team. 


As Rafael Marquez left the field on substitution, the legendary player was given a standing ovation by all fans present in what was this player's last game with the club that saw his return to Mexican soccer.

Only ten minutes into the second half, a long pass by former Sevilla midfielder Ivan Rakitic, found Dani Alves on the right who gracefully crossed to 18-year-old Spanish forward Munir El Haddadi, who finished the play inside the six-yard-box.

The moment everyone was looking for happened at minute 75 when Rafinha left the field for Luis Suarez who was playing his first match since the World cup group stage match against Italy where the infamous bit against Giorgio Chiellini happened.

And only two minutes after his entrance, Munir El Haddadi would score his second of the night after a beautiful individual display of unique talent by 19-year-old forward Sandro Ramirez who would set up rookie Munir with the ball to add his second crown of the night and give the fans a satisfying 5-0 result.

Sandro would get his own goal in the last minute of game, once again by showing a great display of individual determination as he took the ball between the Leon defense and pulled off a deadly shot that saw the back of the Leon's keeper net, to see off the end of a match that showed a forceful Barcelona with a strong quarry that can compete at any level.

 
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